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Assets of Firm Accused of Theft and Fraud Frozen

January 12, 1986|DOROTHY TOWNSEND | Times Staff Writer

Assets of a West Los Angeles home building firm under investigation for grand theft and fraud were frozen Friday and the firm ordered not to enter into any further contracts, pending the outcome of hearings.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Warren Deering issued the temporary restraining order against Delta Homes Inc. and several of its officers, whose arrests were announced Wednesday by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

"This shuts them down," declared Deputy Atty. Gen. Dora Levin on Friday after Deering signed the order. Court papers filed by Levin charge the firm with several violations of the state Business and Professions Code, including failing to construct housing units after taking money from a customer to do so.

The company is under suspicion of fleecing about 400 property owners in Los Angeles and Orange counties out of $1 million or more, investigators said Thursday. There are allegations that Delta received down payments ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 from each of the customers over the last three years for homes that were almost never constructed, investigators said.

Friday's order restrains the company from engaging in the business of building, withdrawing or spending any of its assets, collecting any money from parties who have entered into construction contracts with it, and foreclosing or assigning for foreclosure any liens arising out of construction contracts.

Enjoined by the order is the firm, headquartered at 10913 Venice Blvd.; the three executives arrested earlier, president Joseph Polifroni, 46, of Corona del Mar, Antonio Abello Escario, 47, of Irvine, and Ruth Ray Levy, 64, of Los Angeles; and two employees.

Judge Deering set Jan. 22 as the date for a preliminary hearing for defendants to show cause why an injunction should not be issued pending trial of the issues.

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